Yesterday’s post was immensely popular (by this site’s standards, anyway). Apparently someone liked my project enough to post it in the comments of a post on YHL, and enough people clicked on it — just from reading their comments! — to make a very noticeable difference in how many people read this site.
So thank you, whoever you are — my fairy blog mother — for making me feel like a little DIY goddess for a day, and not just some crazy fool who spent hours cutting out a map. I don’t plan on opening an Etsy shop any time soon — especially since I gave away the key to the map’s creation — but I will say if anyone is interested in having me make one for you, feel free to contact me directly and we’ll talk: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m thinking today’s post might not be so popular. Unless you like reading about how much of a doofus I am, in which case this might be the most popular post to date.
So, I’m not going to lie.
Last night, I screwed up.
Like screwed up, screwed up. The kind where I messed up not just once, but several times — one after another, after another — compounding each mistake on top of the last until, at the end, I was left with nothing but one solid, beefed-up super mess and a kitchen that smells like burnt cheese.
I decided to make spinach feta quiche, since I still had one pie crust in the freezer from last time, leftover feta from making these, a bunch of fresh spinach I was using for salads, and half of a large brick of cheddar cheese from who knows what. Considering the only thing I actually had to purchase to make it was the mushrooms, I figured this was a no-brainer.
Boy, was I wrong.
Apparently you still have to use your brain at least a little, no matter how many times you’ve made something, and no matter how much you insist that it’s simple to make.
For some reason — maybe it was because I used fresh spinach — maybe it was because I used half a red onion and half a white because that’s all I had — maybe it’s because karma hates me — who knows? — but for some reason, I didn’t have nearly enough room in my crust for the egg/milk mixture. I usually have a little left over, but this time I still had like half the mixture left in the bowl. So I poked around with a fork, pushing a little mushroom to the side here, prodding a hunk of feta out of the way there, trying to squeeze as much egg and milk in as I possibly could, until the pie crust was filled to the absolute brim.
But still, there was a lot left in the bowl.
Rather than ponder the possible reasons and coming up with a viable solution, I did what any good Domestiphobe does and tried to bake it anyway. Not without first dribbling a bunch of milk and egg all over the inside of my oven door.
The directions say to bake it for 15 minutes, pull it back out to top it with cheddar cheese, and then bake it again. It hadn’t set up as it normally does after that amount of time, so when I topped it with the cheese, allll the way to the edge like the cheese lovin’ fool that I am, and then went to stick it back in the oven.
And I almost dropped it.
The bottom of the flimsy pie tin gave out a bit, causing my oven mitted hands to close in towards each other, essentially folding the quiche in half.
No worries, went my thought process. This can be fixed.
I ignored the fact that the crust had cracked and did my best to pat everything back into place. I set it — safely, I thought — back into the oven to finish baking. We’re finally in the clear!
Then, about 20 minutes later, I smelled it.
When I went to investigate, there was a wee bit of steam — smoke? — escaping from the back vent. That’s odd, thought my dimwitted mind. Maybe it’s from the egg you dribbled on the door before.
So I opened it.
And then my face was accosted with hot smoke. I coughed and batted at it with my trusty oven mitts until it finally occurred to me to turn on the microwave vent fan and crack open a window.
If it wasn’t so scary, it would’ve been kind of funny — like something from out of a movie. I felt like Mrs. Doubtfire, only I don’t have a penis and I didn’t catch my synthetic breasts on fire.
I mean, like that would happen. My breasts are so not synthetic.
*I feel like it’s important to note that I did catch an oven mitt on fire once. While babysitting. I hid the evidence. Kids, this is why you should never get your oven mitts too close to the coils. Or ask me to babysit. Especially if you value your oven mitts. And… I don’t know… your children.
When the smoke cleared, I saw the problem.
The cheddar cheese, which I’d so carefully lined all the way to the edge of the crust, had somehow — maybe via melting, genius — crept its way over the crust and was dripping cheesy, delicious waterfalls all over the inside of my oven.
Except they probably weren’t delicious, because they were quickly burning on the sizzling oven floor and sending a slew of nasty smells into my kitchen — my kitchen that, not half an hour before, had been filled with the mouth-watering aroma mushrooms, garlic, and onion sautéed in butter.
The inside of my oven, post Apocalyptic Quiche Meltdown. Someone call Horatio Cane — there’s been a murder.
It only had 10 minutes left. I could handle this.
I stuck a large cookie sheet on the rack beneath it to catch the drips, lit a candle to try to help cover the smell, and hoped to get through the rest of it alive.
When I finally took it out, it looked cooked.
It felt cooked.
I let it rest for 15 minutes and then cut into it.
It wasn’t cooked.
Or maybe it was, but it wouldn’t hold together because I hadn’t been able to fit enough of the egg mixture into the pie crust.
We ate it anyway.
You know what? It still tasted delicious.
At least someone appreciates my catastrophes.
Thinking about it today, after I’ve had my morning coffee and have lit a few more dozen candles in my kitchen, my theory is that this happened because I hadn’t consumed enough wine while making it. Normally I pour the glass before I start cooking, and then I work my way through the dish and the glass, occasionally swaying to some fitting mood music in the background, and everything is right with the world because this is my wind-down time. This is relaxation.
But last night I had it all wrong. I didn’t even pour the glass until I was ready to start sautéing, and I’m pretty sure that just threw everything out of whack. There was no wine pre-choppage, and so my mushrooms were all cattywompus and uneven, clumps of onion were sticking together because I didn’t cut all the way through, and the garlic was just too minced, if you know what I mean.
I wasn’t putting any heart into it.
So I’m starting to discover that me cooking with no wine is like the Beatles writing music with no marijuana. It just doesn’t work.
But the key, my friends, is moderation. I can’t have too much wine, nor could the Beatles have too much pot. Otherwise, we end up mistaking sugar for salt or creating Octopus’s Garden, each of which would only make you scratch your head for days, trying to figure out what went wrong.
Though I have to admit, I kind of love this song.
Do you have any kitchen disaster stories you’d care to share?